This guide is a supplement to be read alongside other... this series. It provides additional information on accessibility and

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This guide is a supplement to be read alongside other guides in
this series. It provides additional information on accessibility and
means of escape.
Supplementary guide
endorsed by the
Disability
Rights
Commission
Other guides in the series:
Guide
Main use
Offices and shops
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 815 0
Factories and warehouses
Offices and retail premises (including individual units within larger premises,
e.g. shopping centres).
Factories and warehouse storage premises.
Sleeping accommodation
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 817 4
Residential care premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 818 1
Educational premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 819 8
Small and medium places
of assembly
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 820 4
Large places of assembly
All premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation, e.g. hotels,
guest houses, B&Bs, hostels, residential training centres, holiday accommodation
and the common areas of flats, maisonettes, HMOs and sheltered housing (other
than those providing care – see Residential care premises), but excluding hospitals,
residential care premises, places of custody and single private dwellings.
Residential care and nursing homes, common areas of sheltered housing
(where care is provided) and similar premises, which are permanently staffed
and where the primary use is the provision of care rather than healthcare (see
Healthcare premises).
Teaching establishments ranging from pre-school through to universities, except
the residential parts (see Sleeping accommodation).
Smaller public houses, clubs, restaurants and cafés, village halls, community
centres, libraries, marquees, churches and other places of worship or study
accommodating up to 300 people.
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 821 1
Larger premises where more than 300 people could gather, e.g. shopping centres
(not the individual shops), large nightclubs and pubs, exhibition and conference
centres, sports stadia, marquees, museums, libraries, churches, cathedrals and
other places of worship or study.
Theatres, cinemas and
similar premises
Theatres, cinemas, concert halls and similar premises used primarily for
this purpose.
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 822 8
Open air events and venues
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 823 5
Healthcare premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 824 2
Transport premises
and facilities
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 825 9
Open air events, e.g. theme parks, zoos, music concerts, sporting events
(not stadia – see Large places of assembly), fairgrounds and county fairs.
Premises where the primary use is the provision of healthcare (including private),
e.g. hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dentists and other similar healthcare premises.
Transportation terminals and interchanges, e.g. airports, railway stations
(including sub-surface), transport tunnels, ports, bus and coach stations
and similar premises but excluding the means of transport (e.g. trains, buses,
planes and ships).
endorsed by the
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 873 7
Price: £5.00
Disability
Rights
Commission
Means of Escape for Disabled People
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 816 7
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This document is also available on the Communities and Local Government website:
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Reference number: 06 FRSD 03913(a)
Published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place
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© Crown Copyright 2007.
Printed on material containing 100% post-consumer waste (text), 75% post-consumer waste and 25% ECF pulp (cover).
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 873 7
Contents
Introduction
3
1 Background
4
1.1 Legal overview
4
1.2 Management practice
4
1.3 Reducing unnecessary escapes
5
1.4 Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for
employees and regular visitors
6
1.5 Standard plans for occasional visitors
6
1.6 Unknown or uncontrolled visitors
7
1.7 Small buildings
8
2 Communication
9
2.1 Consultation
9
2.2 Making contact and defining roles
10
2.3 The communications process
11
3 The process
15
3.1 Interviewing staff
15
3.2 Contacting unknown visitors
16
3.3 Recruitment and training
16
3.4 Practice
17
3.5 Co-ordinated information
17
1
4 People’s preferred options for escape
18
4.1 Negotiate ‘reasonable adjustments’
18
4.2 Mobility impaired people
19
4.3 Wheelchair users
20
4.4 Carry-down procedures
20
4.5 Electrically powered wheelchairs
22
4.6 Hearing impaired and deaf people
23
4.7 Visually impaired and blind people
25
4.8 People with cognitive disabilities
27
4.9 Unknown requirements
29
5 Visitors and customers
30
The matrix
2
Appendix 1 – The matrix
39
Appendix 2 – Pro-forma letter
41
Appendix 3 – New starter evacuation questionnaire
42
Appendix 4 – Personnel record sheet
43
Appendix 5 – PEEP option 1
44
Appendix 6 – PEEP option 2
46
Appendix 7 – Reception sign
48
Glossary
49
Index
51
Introduction
This is a supplementary guide and should be read alongside other guides in
the Fire Safety Risk Assessment series.
It provides additional information on accessibility and means of escape for
disabled people.
The document can be used to assist in completing the record of significant
findings and should include a detailed account of measures that are in place
to facilitate and assist disabled people to leave the building.
The appendices provide examples and information to help carry out the
assessment and record Personal Emergency Escape Plans (PEEPs).
Technical terms are explained in the glossary.
Where reference is made to British Standards or other standards provided
by other bodies the standards referred to are intended for guidance only.
Reference to any particular standard is not intended to confer a presumption
of conformity with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety)
Order 2005.
3
1 Background
1.1
Legal overview
The Fire and Rescue Service’s role in fire evacuation is that of ensuring that
the means of escape in case of fire and associated fire safety measures
provided for all people who may be in a building are both adequate and
reasonable, taking into account the circumstances of each particular case.
Under current fire safety legislation it is the responsibility of the person(s)
having responsibility for the building to provide a fire safety risk assessment
that includes an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be in the
premises, including disabled people, and how that plan will be implemented.
Such an evacuation plan should not rely upon the intervention of the Fire
and Rescue Service to make it work. In the case of multi-occupancy buildings,
responsibility may rest with a number of persons for each occupying
organisation and with the owners of the building. It is important that they
co-operate and co-ordinate evacuation plans with each other. This could
present a particular problem in multi-occupancy buildings when the different
escape plans and strategies need to be co-ordinated from a central point.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) does not make any change to
these requirements: it underpins the current fire safety legislation in England
and Wales – the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – by requiring
that employers or organisations providing services to the public take
responsibility for ensuring that all people, including disabled people, can
leave the building they control safely in the event of a fire.
Where an employer or a service provider does not make provision for the
safe evacuation of disabled people from its premises, this may be viewed as
discrimination. It may also constitute a failure to comply with the requirements
of the fire safety legislation mentioned above.
Public bodies have an additional duty, called the Disability Equality Duty
(DED), which from December 2006 requires them to proactively promote the
equality of disabled people. This will require them to do even more to ensure
that disabled people do not face discrimination by not being provided with
a safe evacuation plan from a building.
This document provides guidance on how organisations can ensure the safe
evacuation of disabled people from their premises.
1.2
Management practice
The DDA requires organisations to review their policies, practices and
procedures in order to ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled
4
Equally, the practice of locking the side swing door adjacent to a revolving
door is likely to be unlawful under this part of the Act. Such an act may also
constitute an offence under current fire safety legislation. These are examples
of how the DDA changed how companies manage public access.
However, attention was focused on getting into premises, when, of course,
if one is going to enable disabled people to fully use the building, one also
needs to enable them to leave safely. The safe evacuation of disabled
people is a problematic area for policy makers and one that has not
received sufficient attention to date.
It is important that both building managers and disabled people understand
that planning for means of escape is about planning for exceptional
circumstances (i.e. not an everyday event). When writing escape plans that
include disabled people, there is sometimes a tendency to overplay the
safety issue to the detriment of the independence and dignity of disabled
people. The purpose of this guidance is to provide you with clear information
so that your organisation is able to deal with these issues in a practical,
equality-based manner.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
people, and to take steps to overcome any physical barriers that make it
impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to use a service.
Operational procedures, for example those that require all visitors to park
away from a building, have had to be amended to allow disabled people to
park close to the main entrance.
It should also be remembered that what a disabled person is prepared to
do in exceptional circumstances may differ significantly from what they can
reasonably manage in their everyday activities. Escape plans for disabled
people should be prepared with the view that what is required is for ‘the real
thing’. The level of effort required of a disabled person may not be acceptable
for a practice or false alarm or in everyday activities. The procedures put in
place should take account of this and allow for simulation in the case of fire
drills or other emergency evacuation practices.
Good housekeeping standards and management procedures will reduce the
incidence of false alarms.
1.3
Reducing unnecessary escapes
Some disabled people are put at a great risk when carry-down procedures
of any kind are used. It is therefore necessary for the evacuation policy to
include a method of reducing or removing the need to escape for a false
alarm. It is likely that many more disabled people will be willing to facilitate
their own escape when they know that this is not going to be required of
them during a practice or for a false alarm.
Good communication with disabled people about the fire or emergency
evacuation process is vital to ensure its success and to reduce the need
for emergency escapes except in exceptional circumstances.
5
1.4
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for
employees and regular visitors
Where staff and regular visitors to a building require a plan, they can be
provided with an individual plan through the human resources department or
building manager. The plan must be tailored to their individual needs and is
likely to give detailed information on their movements during an escape. It is
also possible that there will be some building adaptation to facilitate their
escape and to reduce the need for personal assistance.
Example
A health club has a regular member who finds the stairs difficult. During their
induction, the fitness instructor discusses their escape needs. An evacuation
chair is provided at gym level. All instructors are trained in the use of the
chair and they are introduced to the member.
1.5
Standard plans for occasional visitors
This guidance provides advice on a wide range of options for ensuring the safe
evacuation of disabled people. These options contain some standard elements,
but these can of course be adapted to suit particular organisations. In order
to provide suitable means of escape for visitors, a set of standard escape
options should be adopted by the organisation.
A standard plan is used where there are visitors or casual users of the
building who may be present infrequently or on only one occasion. The
provision of standard PEEPs takes account of the following:
• the disabled person’s movements within the building;
• the operational procedures within the building;
• the types of escape that can be made available;
• the building systems, e.g. the fire alarm; and
• the existing egress plan.
Standard evacuation plans are written procedures that can be used as
options for disabled people to choose from. They are held at the reception
points within the building and are advertised and offered to people as part
of the entry/reception procedures.
This is an extension of the process of signing into a building and being given
a visitor badge with the escape procedures on the back of it. A disabled
person requiring assisted escape is offered options for their assistance and
is given suitable instructions.
It is understood by most people that when a fire alarm is activated they
must all leave the building by the nearest exit, as quickly as possible, and
reach a place of ultimate safety. The management of the building is required
to keep escape routes clear and free from obstruction and to ensure that
6
This responsibility also applies to disabled people, therefore disabled people
can be expected to identify themselves when they are informed of the
availability of a choice of evacuation plan and co-operate by giving any
information necessary for the safe execution of the plan.
Example
A visitor approaches reception, where there is a clear sign indicating the
provision of a PEEP system. The visitor has a visual impairment and therefore
requires information about the escape routes. The building operates a policy
of the meeting organiser being responsible for visitors if an escape is
necessary. The receptionist explains the process for obtaining support.
The visually impaired person makes the meeting organiser aware of the
need for assistance. All staff are trained in disability escape etiquette. Prior
to the start of the meeting he/she points out the escape routes and offers
to assist if necessary.
1.6
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
exits are readily available for use on quick-release devices which also offer
protection from unwanted or illegal entry. However, everyone using a building
for whatever purpose should also take some responsibility for their own
safety wherever possible.
Unknown or uncontrolled visitors
Where there are people within the building who do not pass a reception
point or are not controlled, such as in a shopping centre, library or theatre,
it is more difficult to gather information prior to the need to escape. In
these instances a system of standard PEEPs should also be implemented
and advertised.
Training for staff is vital in this case as they will have to provide assistance
and advice to disabled users of the building as the incident develops. The
plans to enable them to leave safely in the event of an incident will require
pre-planning. Staff will need to understand all the options within the matrix
(contained in Appendix 1) and be able to communicate these effectively to
disabled people at the time of escape. In order to do this, they should
receive disability escape etiquette training.
In large, multi-occupancy buildings, it will be essential for each organisation
to ensure that suitable training is provided to all their staff. Such a training
requirement should form part of their fire safety risk assessment.
7
Example
A museum is required to evacuate due to an alert in one of the galleries.
There are a number of wheelchair users present. The museum has a high
standard of compartmentation due to the need to protect the exhibits.
This is an advantage in an escape situation and staff members have been
trained to understand the safety implications of this fire safety feature. The
communications process set up as part of the escape procedures for staff
tells them where the alarm has been raised. They can then direct people who
cannot use stairs away from the alarm point to a safer part of the building.
1.7
Small buildings
In larger buildings, the building systems and options are likely to provide
more options than in smaller buildings. However, in smaller buildings there
will be fewer people and greater opportunity to communicate. A standard
set of plans should be developed in the same way as for a larger building.
8
2.1
Consultation
When producing an evacuation plan which includes disabled people, it
should be remembered that normally people cannot be expected to react
exactly as planned in any emergency. It is generally accepted that, unless
guided by trained staff, most non-disabled people (including those who may
have worked for years in a building) will make their way to the exit that they
are familiar with, rather than to the most suitable escape route. Provision
of a fully integrated PEEP system will benefit all groups of people and will
identify any weaknesses in existing evacuation plans. Therefore, it should
not be considered a burden on the evacuation plan, but an opportunity to
improve safety for all people using the building.
The different groups of people who should be considered and are likely to
be present in a building are as follows:
• staff;
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
2 Communication
• contractors;
• visitors;
• residents;
• students; and
• customers – individuals and groups (hiring out of rooms, public events, etc.).
Each of these groups has a different role to play and it is likely that the
methods of contacting them will need to be different. This will require a
communications strategy that involves the people responsible for managing
the use of the building. It will also require those people to work together to
ensure that a joined-up and co-ordinated approach is taken.
The method of making contact with disabled people and the type of
evacuation plan they are provided with will differ depending on the function
that they are fulfilling within the building. The type of building will also
influence the type of plan.
The general population will follow the escape routes or make their way out
by the way they came in, but disabled people who require their escape to
be facilitated will need to be considered in more depth in the general plan.
Disabled people will need to have more information about the options
available to them. In some instances, they will need to be allocated people
to assist their escape; however, the aim should be to facilitate disabled
people’s independent escape as far as possible.
9
2.2
Making contact and defining roles
It is easier to contact staff and regular visitors to the building and, generally,
this will be done through the personnel procedures and general management
systems. It will also be easier to prepare detailed escape plans for these
disabled people. It is also likely that volunteers to provide assistance to
disabled people can be easily recruited from their peer group.
Where standard PEEPs are used and disabled visitors are not available to
consult with in person when setting up the system, it is appropriate to
consult local disabled people’s organisations.
It will be necessary to allocate responsibility for the provision of a suitable
plan for each group of people to a relevant member of the staff team. A list
of building users and appropriate staff who will need to be involved is
provided below.
2.2.1
Staff
The responsible person will be responsible for ensuring that staff are provided
with suitable escape plans. In creating suitable escape plans, the responsible
person would be advised to involve human resources departments, where
they exist, or line managers, who may hold information relating to disabled
employees and may also have responsibility for training and the
development of staff skills.
Staff have a vital role in communicating the evacuation plan to disabled
visitors, and to fulfil this role effectively they will be required to undergo
disability escape etiquette training. This consultation and planning
process should be introduced on induction and be reviewed regularly as
appropriate. Information should also be provided within the staff handbook.
A system is required to ensure that plans are regularly updated (see Appendix 4).
2.2.2
Contractors
Where there are contractors working in the building, the responsible person
has overall responsibility for their safety in case of fire; however, this may
often be delegated to a competent person in the department they are
working for. The competent person should ensure that steps are taken
where necessary to ensure that they are provided with a suitable escape
plan chosen from the standard set of plans for the building.
2.2.3
Residents
Where sleeping accommodation is provided, e.g. in a hotel, part of the
booking-in procedure should include the offer of a suitable escape plan.
Additional accessible information is required in each room, adjacent to
the evacuation procedures for all residents.
In hostel accommodation or student dwellings, etc. suitable PEEPs should
10
2.2.4
Students/pupils
When a child or student is enrolled, their escape plan should be developed
as part of the admissions process. Care should be taken that all disabled
children or students are provided with a plan if they need one, even if they
are provided with a statement or not.
2.2.5
Visitors – individual
Individual visitors to a building may fall into two groups: those who are
invited to a building, such as sales representatives; and casual visitors who
attend of their own volition, such as clients attending to discuss issues with
members of staff.
A system of standard plans should be created. For invited visitors, the plans
could be put in place prior to the meeting, or they could be presented to
casual visitors when they book in at reception.
2.2.6
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
be provided by the accommodation manager based on the standard set of
plans for the building.
Visitors – groups
Part of the booking procedures for groups should include provision of standard
plans. Where there are a large number of disabled people, it may be
acceptable for the party organiser to play a role in the provision of suitable
escape plans. Booking administration should facilitate this.
2.2.7
Casual visitors
In public access buildings, it may be impossible to know how many disabled
people are present at any one time or their level of disability. In such cases,
responsibility for evacuating them safely in the event of an emergency will
rest with staff and building managers. It is important, therefore, that staff and
managers fully understand the evacuation plan and fire safety strategy for
the building so that they can render maximum assistance to disabled
people, irrespective of the nature of their impairment. Staff and management
training and empowerment are crucial factors in this planning process.
Example
A serious fire occurred in a nightclub in a major city centre in the UK.
Due to the prompt and effective action of staff and managers in evacuating
customers from the building, 500 people were successfully evacuated safely
into surrounding streets.
2.3
The communications process
A communications process is required so that there is suitable support for
the evacuation plan system at each level of the building. It is necessary to
consider the following steps within a plan.
11
2.3.1
Co-ordination
A co-ordinating role is necessary in order to ensure that any plans provided
are understood throughout the organisation. Overall responsibility for this
role rests with the responsible person(s); however, in practice this is likely to
be delegated to a competent person from the human resources department
or safety services. Different members of the organisation will be appointed
as competent persons and will be responsible for ensuring that there is
provision for means of escape for disabled people using the service that
they provide. The competent persons will report back to the co-ordinator.
2.3.2
Technical building information
Technical information is also required about the building systems, the fire
safety systems and the fire safety strategy for each building. This information
should be made available to all of the people who are to be part of the
escape plan. For instance, if the building has suitable fire compartmentation
to allow horizontal evacuation into another fire compartment, people
operating the plan should understand why this is possible.
2.3.3
Staff provision
a) Human resources departments will normally have the day-to-day
responsibility for staff and should ensure that all staff are offered a suitable
escape plan during their induction process or where there is any change
to the person’s ability to make their way out of the building.
b) The head of each department will normally be responsible for their
own staff and should arrange the provision of a PEEP for each person
requiring one. It may be necessary to provide a plan for each building
and room that they visit.
c) A disability contact, if there is one, and if not the line manager or competent
person in each department, should take on this role and ensure that the
PEEPs for the staff under their care are kept up to date by contacting/
reminding the department.
2.3.4
Visitors to the building
An appropriate contact point for each group of people visiting a building
should be established. For instance, this may be:
• the main reception point; or
• via the meeting booking procedure; or
• via the person or department that they are visiting.
This will depend of the nature of the organisation.
12
Additional support from security and portering staff
Where there are security and portering services, these can provide a
support role and allocate standard plans for visitors. They may also provide
assistance in some instances. It is important that these members of staff are
provided with suitable training and fully understand their role, particularly
where their function is outsourced.
2.3.6
Training and recruitment of volunteers
In some instances it may be necessary to recruit and train additional staff to
provide assistance during an escape. In considering staff who may provide
assistance in an evacuation, it is important to take account of their worktime availability, location in a building or on a site, and whether they are
employees of another company providing an outsourced facility. Another
consideration in utilising outsourced employees is the need to ensure that
their managers are fully in agreement with their involvement in an emergency
plan and that the person concerned is fully conversant with the work culture
and policies of the workplace or site.
2.3.7
Functions and conferences
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
2.3.5
Function/conference organisers will be responsible for ensuring that disabled
people attending conferences or meetings within the building are provided
with a suitable plan. It is important that conference fliers and booking forms
inform delegates about the building systems.
2.3.8
Meetings
When a room is booked, a standard procedure should be to check if there
are disabled people attending. If so, a suitable escape plan will be required.
2.3.9
Residents
When a disabled person is allocated a room (whether it is specially adapted
for them or not), a suitable escape plan should also be provided. Some
disabled people who use hotel or other residential sleeping accommodation
may not need an adapted room but may need support to escape, e.g. blind
people. Therefore, a clear sign is required to be displayed at reception and
alongside the escape instructions in each room.
Escape instructions displayed in each room should be made available in
other accessible formats, for example the receptionist could explain the
instructions after the person has checked in.
Standard plans for the building should be allocated to visitors by the
reception service in that building.
13
2.3.10
Training programmes
In order to ensure that the system runs smoothly, it is important to introduce a
regular training plan. The following is an example diary, inlcuding training dates.
Year 1
Feb
Jan
Mar
Apr
MOE Carry- Mocktraining down up
training
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
MOE Carry- Mocktraining down up
training
Year 2
Jan
MOE
training
MOE – Means of escape
Mock-up – Simulation of disabled people’s escape procedures
Carry-down – All types of escape that include evacuation chairs, manual handling training, disability evacuation
etiquette training
N.B. Staff involved in the escape plan should feel confident in their
skills and disabled people should feel that they can trust the process.
2.3.11
Budgets
It may be appropriate to allocate a budget to improve the emergency
escape provision within the building.
14
3.1
Interviewing staff
Once the person responsible for their plan has contacted the disabled
person, an interview should be organised to establish suitable evacuation
procedures.
A suitable plan should be negotiated, taking into consideration what the
building, management and disabled person can offer. It should not be
automatically assumed that a disabled person cannot leave the building
independently. It is recommended that disabled people are consulted about
their evacuation plan. They should be given information about the building
systems and their opinions and experience should be both sought
and respected.
The appropriate time required to make the disabled person’s escape should
be identified. Disabled people should not automatically be required to wait
for the main flow of escape to be completed. However, if they are likely to
cause obstruction for other people leaving the building, it will be safer for
everyone if they follow the main flow of people.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
3 The process
Wherever possible, the escape plan should accommodate both fast and
slow-moving people. However, where the person may need to rest or they
feel threatened by people behind them, it may be appropriate to design a
plan that allows for this, e.g. resting in refuges provided along the route.
The matrix in Appendix 1 gives the options that are suitable for most
disabled people. This should be used alongside the information that is
provided about the building. The two can be matched together to form
either a standard evacuation plan or an individual plan.
Example
A visually impaired person is working in a building that has a main entrance
incorporating the main stairway and one additional escape stair at the other
end of the building. The escape stair has suitable handrails and step edge
markings. The person is familiar with the building and has been shown
where the escape stair is. They elect to make their own way out of the
building because the access provision in the escape stair is adequate.
Most disabled people are likely to have a very clear idea of what it will
take to get out of the building. In some instances, the person will be able
to facilitate their own escape if suitable aids and adaptations have been
provided. The responsible or competent person working with the disabled
person to write the plan should not make assumptions about the abilities
of the disabled person. They are likely to know what they can achieve.
15
Where a person can make their escape unaided, it may take them longer
than the three minutes generally accepted as the time taken for nondisabled people to make their escape in case of fire. They should be given
the opportunity to take the safest route, which offers them the longest
period of safety, for instance through to an adjacent fire compartment,
which has a one-hour fire-resisting rating, and then down the escape stair,
which has a 30-minute fire-resisting rating.
Where staff assistance is required, sometimes this will be by staff within the
department concerned. Where local staff are not available, contact should
be made with the responsible person for the building so that a suitable
alternative option can be set up.
3.2
Contacting unknown visitors
It is much more difficult to organise an escape plan for people who are
casually visiting the building or for people who are using the service on a
one-off basis. However, by assessing the types of escape that can be
provided within the building in the same way as for a known population,
it is easier to address their needs.
Once the escape options are known, staff should be trained to implement
them at the time of an escape. This will require organisation and practice.
Using fire drills that involve disabled members of the public is not advised
as it may put the disabled people at risk from injury unnecessarily. Regular
simulated practice should take place alongside moving, handling and
disability evacuation etiquette training.
3.3
Recruitment and training
Sometimes it can be difficult to recruit volunteers as they will want to be
sure that their own safety is not compromised by helping the disabled
person to escape. It may be necessary to raise the awareness of staff prior
to the recruitment of volunteers so that they understand that their own
safety will not be compromised.
Clear information should be provided to volunteers about facilitated and
assisted escape systems. It would also be supportive to potential volunteers
to assure them of the organisation’s commitment to their continued training
and support. In some instances it will be necessary to provide a session
for potential volunteers so that they feel more comfortable about coming
forward. Accreditation and possible remuneration for volunteering for this
training may also be introduced, in the same way as exists for some first
aid staff.
The training provided should include disability awareness, disability
evacuation etiquette, and moving, lifting and handling techniques.
16
Practice
Practice for PEEPs will depend on the type of escape required. Generally,
escape plans should be practised on a regular basis and at least every six
months. However, some systems will need testing more frequently than
that, for instance paging systems.
All the people involved in the escape plan should take part; however, it may
be more appropriate to simulate carry-down so as not to cause
unnecessary risk to the disabled person.
Where a disabled person has elected to make an exceptional effort to get
out unaided, it is not practical for them to practise; however, timing a short
section of the escape will help in establishing how long a full escape
might take.
People with a learning difficulty may need to practise their routes for escape
on a monthly basis. If so, this should be written into their PEEP.
3.5
Co-ordinated information
Once each plan is written, it should be passed on to the responsible person(s)
within the building. This will ensure that the plans for each premises and its
occupants in a building can be co-ordinated. This is especially important
where there is potentially a high number of people to be evacuated to
ensure that there is no conflict.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
3.4
Under fire safety legislation, the responsible person has overall responsibility
for ensuring that all emergency plans are updated as necessary and
whenever the fire risk in the building changes.
Where this responsibility is delegated to a competent person, that person
should ensure that it is not overlooked. It is important that, should that
person leave or be away on long-term sick leave or maternity leave, their
role is allocated to another suitably trained person either permanently or for
the period of their absence. Disabled people should be advised to tell their
nominated person of any change in their circumstances.
17
4 People’s preferred options
for escape
4.1
Negotiate ‘reasonable adjustments’
Generally, disabled people are no different from anyone else in that
they prefer to be in control of their own escape. The DDA requires that
adaptations may be made to physical features of buildings to enable them
to be used more easily by disabled people. However, the DDA recognises
that it may not be possible to provide full access. The minimum requirement
is difficult to outline, but a good guide would be to use the specifications set
out in BS 8300. These can be considered a measure of accessibility under
the DDA and can be considered desirable features for means of escape.
Sometimes there may be difficulties when managers are trying to introduce
PEEP systems. Disabled staff or visitors can sometimes expect the provision
of items such as lifts where it is not feasible to provide these. It is important
that where such conflict arises both parties take a realistic view of the
situation. Managers should be prepared to discuss with disabled people
what options there are and what provision they can make. Disabled people
also need to understand the limits of reasonableness set out by the DDA.
The following statements should be considered as part of the negotiation
procedure:
• Health and safety legislation requires building managers to ensure the
safety of staff and visitors to a workplace.
• The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that all people
using the building be provided with adequate means of escape in case of
fire. This includes a suitable escape plan.
• There is also a responsibility for all staff using the building to be aware of
and to practise the escape procedures periodically. It works on the principle
that people are responsible for their own escape, which will be facilitated
by the building management and provided for by the responsible person.
This implies that disabled people also have a responsibility to co-operate with
the provisos of their own escape plans and to facilitate their escape. Often
there is reluctance on the part of disabled people to volunteer information
about what they could achieve in a one-off escape situation. In order for
disabled people to be willing to volunteer this information, responsible
persons and building managers should take the right approach, recognising
disabled people’s dignity and right to independent access and evacuation,
and they should provide as much information as possible to everyone about
the plans for disabled people. This will encourage disabled people to be
more frank in their approach to establishing their own escape plan.
18
It should be made clear to disabled people (while working with them to
develop a suitable plan) that the circumstances of escape are considered to
be exceptional. That means solutions that may not be appropriate in most
circumstances could be used, such as allowing a disabled person to move
down the stairs on their bottom. It would not be acceptable for them to do
this in any other circumstances. The disabled person may need assurances
that, if they volunteer what they might do in an emergency, this will not
constitute grounds for the removal of any support at other times.
Not all people who have an apparent impairment will require an assisted
escape plan. Also, it should not be assumed that people with invisible
impairments and who normally would not have an access problem will
not require assistance in an emergency situation. This may be caused by
the fact that current guidance on means of escape in case of fire is not
necessarily consistent with access standards, e.g. lift access to upper
floors without an evacuation lift provision, edge marking of stairs.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Some negotiation skills, sensitivity and level of discernment are required
here on the part of the person carrying out a PEEP. (Disabled people may
feel pressured to do more physically than they would generally be able to
achieve, or they may be afraid that back-up systems and support will not
be made available to them.) Training is essential.
All staff should be given the opportunity to have a PEEP at induction.
The reason for this is that some people may have difficulty in evacuation
situations that they would not have normally, e.g. people who have asthma
may be affected in smoky conditions caused by a fire, or people might be
affected by the stress of an emergency situation.
4.2
Mobility impaired people
There is a vast range of people who fit into this category. Issues relating
to this group of people may also be relevant for people who have heart
disease, asthma or heart conditions.
The preferred options for escape of people with mobility impairments are
by horizontal evacuation to outside the building, horizontal evacuation into
another fire compartment, or fire evacuation lift, eventually arriving at a
place of ultimate safety outside the building. This is the preferable option
for disabled people. Within this group, many people will be able to manage
stairs and to walk longer distances, especially if short rest periods are built
into the escape procedure.
A possible facilitating measure may be the provision of suitable handrails.
Information regarding the position of the fire is also useful so that there are
no false starts or the necessity to change direction during the escape.
It should also be remembered that escape from the building within two
to three minutes may not be possible for this group of people. It may be
19
advisable to explain which escape routes have a degree of fire and smoke
resistance and how the building is compartmented.
The level of fire protection available and identification of elements such as
compartmentation and fire alarm zoning within the building will help buy the
time required for disabled people to either facilitate their own escape or
leave with assistance.
4.3
Wheelchair users
This group of people is considered most at risk in terms of escape.
However, in some instances, a person who frequently uses a wheelchair
may be able to walk slightly and therefore be able to assist with their
own escape or even facilitate independent escape. It is essential that the
disabled person is asked the relevant questions tactfully and in a way that
produces the best escape plan.
Assumptions should not be made about the abilities of wheelchair users and
they should not be excluded from a building because of false assumptions
about their ability to leave the building safely.
The preferred method of escape by most wheelchair users is horizontally to
another fire compartment, or to outside the building, or vertically by the use
of an evacuation or fire-fighting lift. If these options are not available, or not
in operation, it may be necessary to carry a person up or down an escape
stair. Carry-down can be achieved in a number of ways, as set out below.
4.4
Carry-down procedures
4.4.1
Evacuation chairs
This looks like a deckchair with skis and wheels underneath. When placed
on the stairway it slides down the stair. There are wheels at the back that
facilitate movement on the flat, but they are not suitable for long distances.
An evacuation chair is operated by one or two people and requires training
and practice to use. Disabled people may not feel confident using these
chairs and it is not always possible for wheelchair users to transfer into an
evacuation chair or to maintain a sitting position once seated in one. Therefore,
evacuation chairs should not be considered as an automatic solution to the
escape requirements of wheelchair users.
It is unlikely that an evacuation chair will be of much use unless both the user
and the operator are well trained and familiar with the piece of equipment. It
is essential that when they are purchased a suitable training system is also
implemented. Regular practices should also take place. In most instances,
these may not need to include the disabled person, although some may
wish to practise being moved in the evacuation chair. It is more appropriate
for the people who are trained to operate the evacuation chair to take it in
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4.4.2
Carry-down in the person’s own wheelchair
It is possible to move a person down a stairway in a number of ways using
their own chair as an aid.
Carry-down by two, three or four people can be done by holding the wheelchair
at one of the fixed points situated in each corner of the wheelchair. The
team then lifts the wheelchair and moves up or down the stairway. Many
wheelchair users will be able to point this out.
4.4.3
Carry-down using an office chair
This can be used when a person does not have a wheelchair that is suitable
for carry-down, for example a large motorised chair.
Any stable office chair can be used, although preferably it would be one
with armrests. The carry-down is facilitated in the same way as when using
a wheelchair.
4.4.4
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
turns during practices rather than involve the disabled person. This will also
increase their confidence in using the equipment. Using an evacuation chair
may put the disabled person at risk from injury, so it is best to limit their use
by disabled people to the real thing.
Carry-down using ‘wheelies’
With some wheelchairs it is possible to tilt the chair on its axis so that it is
virtually weightless on the stair. With either one or two people holding onto
the chair by a fixed point at the rear, the wheelchair can be manoeuvred
down the stairs, allowing the weight of the person to carry the chair down
the stairs. Some wheelchair users are able to make this manoeuvre unaided;
however, these people are in a minority, and, in any case, the manoeuvre is
really only practical on a short flight of stairs.
None of the above techniques should be attempted without appropriate
training. All types of carry-down escape techniques require a risk assessment
and professional moving and handling training for the operators.
When designing the escape plan, remember to consider what is practical
and achievable in exceptional circumstances rather than what might be
achieved in normal day-to-day activity.
4.4.5
The interview
When writing a plan with someone who has a mobility impairment, or who
uses either an electrically or manually powered wheelchair, the following
information should be obtained:
• which routes have handrails provided;
21
• how far the distance of travel is on particular routes;
• the degree of fire compartmentalisation within the building and the exact
location of the fire compartments;
• the provision of evacuation chairs;
• which staircases are provided with handrails and what side of the stair
they are situated on;
• the opportunity to use lifts and lift locations; and
• what staff assistance may be available.
Questions to ask during the interview include:
• Can you walk aided/unaided down the stairs?
• How far can you walk unaided?
• Can you slide down the stairs?
• How many flights can you manage?
• Would this be increased if assistance were made available?
• How many people would you need to assist you?
• How many times might they need to stop to rest?
• Would handrails be of use in assisting your escape?
• Are there positions along the escape route where handrails or other aids
might assist you?
• How might your mobility be worsened, e.g. by smoke, etc.?
• Is your wheelchair electric or manual?
Once this process has taken place, some people will decide that they can
facilitate their own escape using the systems within the building. Others will
decide that they require assistance from one or more people.
4.5
Electrically powered wheelchairs
People with limited mobility – possibly heavy
People who use electrically powered wheelchairs may have less mobility
than people who use manual chairs. However, there may be exceptions to
this rule, so it is important to consult the disabled person wherever possible.
This group of people is likely to require much more assistance when leaving
the building. It is wise for the responsible person or building manager to
facilitate the independent escape of all other groups of disabled people in
order to ensure that there is sufficient staff to assist this group.
22
There are other types of mechanical equipment that exist to move people
up or down stairs; however, timing and obstructing the escape of others are
prime considerations if thinking about using this type of equipment for
evacuation purposes.
An important issue to consider when planning means of escape for people
who require carry-down by four people is that the width of the stair will need
to be sufficient for all of the team to move freely and safely.
4.6
Hearing impaired and deaf people
Hearing impaired and deaf people need to know that there is an escape in
progress. Where only an audible fire alarm system is present, they may not
be able to hear the alarm or any information being broadcast by PA
systems. However, if sound enhancement systems are provided within the
building, it may be possible to transmit the message through that system,
e.g. via a hearing loop or radio paging receiver.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
It is impractical to expect that this group of people will be able to take their
chair with them, due to its weight and size. They will need to leave their
chair in the building if there is no suitable lift to facilitate their escape. This
will mean that some other method of carrying them down the stairs will be
required. This may be a piece of equipment such as an evacuation chair.
The preferred options to alert hearing impaired people that an emergency
exists and an evacuation is about to occur are the use of flashing beacons
installed as part of the fire alarm system and the use of a paging system.
However, these cannot always be provided. Where this is not possible, there
is a range of other auxiliary aids to provide this information.
4.6.1
Information required
When writing a plan with someone who has a hearing impairment or who is
deaf, information should be obtained on whether any of the following pieces
of equipment are available:
• visual alarm system;
• MSN text messaging;
• office intranet;
• telephone network – textphone;
• vibrating pager;
• team member;
• fire wardens;
• appointed buddy; or
• local beacon.
23
All pagers and other equipment should be tested regularly to ensure that
they work.
4.6.2
Staff training
Where other staff are used to alert hearing impaired or deaf people that they
need to leave the building, they should be trained in deaf awareness. Often
floor wardens sweep the building to ensure that there is no one left on the
floor. These staff can be trained to look for signs that a hearing impaired
person is present who may not have heard the alarm.
A typical situation where this may occur is in single offices, libraries, toilet
accommodation or changing rooms. Fire wardens should not expect a vocal
call to be sufficient and should be trained to physically check all areas for
which they have responsibility, provided it is safe for them to do so.
Staff should also be aware that when a person does not react in a logical
manner during the escape procedure they may not have heard the alarm.
Shouting louder is unlikely to be the answer. It may be necessary to walk
right up to the person and explain what is happening with signs or even a
written note or pre-prepared short written instruction.
4.6.3
Fire instructions
It should also be recognised that many hearing impaired and deaf people
do not have English as a first language. It is important that a Plain English
translation of the fire protocol is provided. It may also be an advantage to
this group of people for pictograms to be provided to support the written
information. Deaf people may prefer to have instructions explained to them
through a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.
There are additional issues to consider when writing a plan for a hearing
impaired or deaf person.
4.6.4
The interview
The following information should be given to a hearing impaired or deaf
person when writing their plan:
• the systems that are available to advise them of an evacuation, e.g. alarm
beacon, pager, personal contact, etc.; and
• the technical operation of fire alarms – how to raise the alarm, how to
contact the control room, etc.
Ensure that they are aware of the evacuation procedures – where to go,
alternative routes, and where to report to after the evacuation.
• The following questions should be asked when writing the plan:
• Do you work alone in the building?
24
• Can you hear the alarm?
• Do you work as part of a team or in a group office environment?
• Do you have a dedicated text number?
• Do you have an email address?
• Are you likely to move around the building?
4.6.5
Lone working
Care should be taken to ensure that hearing impaired or deaf people who
are working alone in a building know what is happening. In these instances,
it may be imperative that a visual alarm system or vibrating pager system
is installed.
Similarly, this is also important where a person is working out of hours and
where there may be no other hearing people available to advise them that
there is an emergency evacuation in progress. Remember that the
evacuation system may be used for purposes other than a fire emergency.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
• Do you work out of hours?
The working hours or working flexibility of hearing impaired or deaf members
of staff should not be restricted because inadequate provision for safe
evacuation has been made. Such restrictions, if made without full consideration
of reasonable adjustments, may amount to unlawful discrimination.
Example
A senior manager who is deaf is required to work late and be in the office early
on occasion. The office has a 24-hour security presence and it is necessary
for all staff to sign in and out at the security point. An arrangement is made
that, should an alarm be raised out of hours when the manager is present,
the security guard will contact the manager on their textphone to alert them
of the emergency. This was built into the instruction manual on means of
escape procedures for all security staff.
4.7
Visually impaired and blind people
People who are visually impaired are helped to escape by the provision
of good signage and other orientation clues. It should be noted that most
visually impaired people have some sight and that they will be able to use
this during the escape in order to make their own way out of the building
as part of a crowd. Where the physical circumstances are appropriate, they
will have no problems leaving the building.
Some organisations will not have made provision to provide specialist
orientation information, for example tactile information and audio signals.
Use can be made of existing elements within the building that might help
visually impaired people to facilitate their own evacuation. These may be
elements of building design, such as good colour contrasts, handrails on
25
escape stairs, step edge markings on escape stairs, colour contrasted or
different textured floor coverings on escape routes or way finding information.
Where orientation clues are provided, these will further reduce the need
for assistance.
However, there will still be a need to inform visually impaired people of the
presence of these via the PEEP. Where there is a lack of orientation information,
staff assistance will be necessary to provide guidance out of the building.
4.7.1
Orientation information
Improving circulation and orientation can be of great benefit. Logical routes
to escape stairs will not only assist visually impaired people but will be of
benefit to all users of the building.
Good colour definition and accessible signage will help visually impaired
people to use the building. Extending these systems to include the escape
routes can reduce the need for assisted escape.
A visually impaired person might not easily locate the exit signs and may not
be aware of the travel direction to get out of the building, but they may
remember their way out along the route by which they entered the building.
Using the escape routes as part of the general circulation space within the
building will mean that visually impaired people will become more familiar
with these routes and will therefore have more options for making their escape.
4.7.2
Fire instructions
Visually impaired people are not generally able to read the fire escape
instructions provided in most buildings, as these are often in very small
typefaces. Suitable instructions should be made available in Braille, large
print or on audio-tape. It can be useful to provide a tactile map of the
escape routes and to provide orientation training to visually impaired staff
working in the building, so that they are more aware of the options for escape.
4.7.3
Staff responsibility
Visitors to the building are unlikely to spend time alone. Rather than provide
a focused escape plan for each individual person, a philosophy should be
adopted that gives staff the responsibility of ensuring that their visitors leave
the building safely, whether or not they have a disability. This would be
preferable to providing extensive and possibly unappreciated escape training
for the casual visitor.
4.7.4
Keeping routes safe
Some other simple measures can be adapted to facilitate visually impaired
people in making their escape. They may have difficulty in stairways where
there are open risers and these should be avoided on escape routes. Where
26
When office furniture is rearranged and escape routes are affected, it is
important that these changes are documented and made known to visually
impaired people in the building.
4.7.5
The interview
When writing a plan with someone who has a visual impairment, the
following information should be obtained:
• What type of alarm system is available?
• Are the escape routes clearly marked?
• Is there sufficient orientation information?
• Are fire instructions provided in accessible formats?
• Are there step edge markings on the escape stairs?
• Are there handrails on the escape stairs?
• Are risers closed?
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
these are present then there may be a need for assistance or adaptations to
the stairs to make them safer. Alternatively, a different stairway may be available.
• Are there external, open, steel escape routes?
• The questions that should be asked are:
• Do you work alone in the building?
• Do you work out of hours?
• Can you hear the alarm?
• Are you aware of the positions of all the escape routes?
• Can you follow them unaided?
• Do you work as part of a team or in a group office environment?
• Are you likely to move around the building?
Can you read the escape instructions? If not, what format do you need
them in?
4.8
People with cognitive disabilities
People with cognitive disabilities often have problems comprehending what
is happening in escape conditions, or may not have the same perceptions
of risk as non-disabled people. Provision of good orientation facilities and
measures within the building is essential.
There may be reluctance by some to take an unknown route from the
building. Some people with cognitive disabilities may fall into the group of
unknown disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism. These people
27
may not be aware of the problem. The PEEP system should be used to
give them the opportunity to understand the possible need for choice and
direction change during an escape.
4.8.1
Orientation information
Orientation information and colour coding of escape routes can also
provide a useful tool. Practice of the route options can dramatically reduce
the requirement for staff assistance. Practice is essential for this group of
people, especially in situations where one person is responsible for a
number of others, for example in a classroom situation. Use of escape
routes for general circulation is an advantage.
4.8.2
Fire instructions
This group of people may need to have the escape plan read and explained
to them. A video or DVD explaining and demonstrating what to do in an
emergency can also be an advantage. A photographic explanation of the
route can also be useful.
Rather than merely asking what this group of people needs, it may be more
relevant to ask what they understand and to develop the plan based on
how they will find the escape routes.
4.8.3
Other factors
Sometimes people with cognitive disabilities will move more slowly than the
main flow and there may be a need for a slow and fast lane in the escape stair.
It is important to understand that not every person with a cognitive
impairment will have a carer or helper with them, so efforts should always
be made to enable the disabled person to understand how to leave the
building rather than assuming that a carer or helper will undertake this role.
It may not be possible to tell that a person has an impairment that affects
their ability to orientate themselves around the building, and staff should
be made aware of such possible situations and be tactful when assisting
a person who may seem lost or unsure of what to do during an escape.
4.8.4
The interview
When writing a plan with someone who has a cognitive impairment, the
following information should be obtained:
• What type of alarm system is available?
• Are the escape routes clearly marked?
• Is there sufficient orientation information?
• Are fire instructions provided in accessible formats?
28
• Are there handrails on the escape stairs?
• Is it likely that there will be a need for two-speed traffic on the stair?
If so, is it wide enough to allow this?
• Are risers closed?
• Are there external, open, steel escape routes?
The questions that should be asked are:
• Do you work alone in the building?
• Do you work out of hours?
• Do you know what the alarm sounds like?
• When you hear the alarm, do you know where to go?
• Do you work as part of a team or in a group office environment?
• Are you likely to move around the building?
• Can you read the escape instructions? Do you understand them? If not,
what format do you need them in?
4.9
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
• Are there step edge markings on the escape stairs?
Unknown requirements
It should not be assumed that because a person has a disability they will
need or ask for a PEEP. Some will be confident that they can get out of the
building unaided. Conversely, there should also be an opportunity for other
people who may not be considered as having a disability to request an
escape plan. All staff in a building should be given the opportunity to have
a confidential discussion about their escape requirements and be clear that,
if they need help, it will be provided. The service provider should adopt an
approach that enables people to ask for a plan, when needed, without them
feeling that it will affect the provision of that service to them in any other way.
One group of people who may find themselves in the category of ‘unknown
requirements’ is people with epilepsy; however, they are not the only people
who may have such an unknown requirement. Many will be able to leave
the building unaided in an emergency, but some managers may not
understand this.
For example, they may assume that a person with epilepsy will have a
seizure due to the fire alarm operating and may collapse in an area where
they are on their own (e.g. a toilet cubicle or storeroom) so that no one
knows where they are. This is very unlikely and the general practice of fire
wardens carefully and fully checking each floor during the evacuation
process should cover this rare eventuality.
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5 Visitors and customers
There is a difference in the way that an escape plan is provided where the
person requiring the escape plan is a visitor to the building or is a customer
using the service. The information required in Section 4 is still required for
each group; however, it will not be possible to provide a bespoke plan for
each person. Instead, a system of standard plans should be developed
based on the matrix in Appendix 1.
Visitors should always be offered an escape plan, but staff should not be
concerned if a person who has an apparent disability does not accept one.
It is possible that the person is confident that they can make their own
escape. This can apply to wheelchair users too (see Section 4.3: Wheelchair
users). Members of staff should confirm with them that this is the case.
Generic plans should be provided in a discreet manner. This will encourage
people who have conditions such as asthma, heart disease, epilepsy or
emotional problems to ask for assistance, if they wish to do so. Their
preferred escape method may be as individual as they are. However, it is
likely to be met by one of the set standard PEEPs laid down for the building.
The service provider should adopt an approach that enables people to ask
for a plan, when needed, without them feeling that it will affect the provision
of the service to them. It should be understood that requesting a suitable
evacuation plan would not result in restricted use of the building. All staff
involved in the process of providing escape plans should be provided with
a good standard of equality training to ensure that they do not inadvertently
discriminate against disabled people.
In some public access buildings, such as museums, art galleries and
shopping centres, there will be little or no control over the people who are
present in the building. This can present a problem to the service provider.
However, where a system of standard plans has been established, staff can
be trained in the different escape options available. They can then be trained
to offer an appropriate option to disabled people during an emergency and
to lead them to appropriate points in the building.
Example 1
There are no step edge markings on the rear stair; however, the west stair
has been provided with markings as part of building improvements. Both
are available as escape routes. Staff should direct visually impaired people
to the west stair.
30
The matrix
The matrix in Appendix 1 includes most disability types and recommends
options for their escape. When working in partnership with a disabled
person to establish their escape plan, the matrix should be used as a guide
to what options might be offered in the plan.
Assisted/facilitated escape options
This section explains each option shown in the matrix. In order to use the
matrix, look at the escape option suggested for each disability type. The
corresponding number in this section gives additional information on each
type of escape. The two can be used together as part of the planning
process for each person’s PEEP.
The options can be used as a discussion tool in order to establish the
options open to each person. They should be matched to each building,
and one person’s choice of escape may differ depending on the building.
For instance, a visually impaired person may be able to find their way out
of a building that has good orientation standards and is uncomplicated.
However, in a complex building where there is poor signage and orientation
they may need assistance.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Example 2
The building has a two-stage fire alarm system. The first stage is a coded
message over the public address system to staff. At this point staff
discreetly approach people who they consider may need assistance and
ask them to leave prior to the confirmation of evacuation.
This may mean that the person requires different plans for different
buildings. Assumptions should not be made that the same plan suits all.
Also, a disabled person should not be pushed into using the same method
of escape in one building as they would use in a more accessible building.
1. Evacuation lifts
During a fire incident, once the Fire and Rescue Service is in attendance
they will operate the lift override system to use the lifts themselves to access
the fire. As a result, all lifts in the building to be used by the Fire and Rescue
Service will return to the fire service access level and park. Once this happens,
it will not be possible to call the lifts as they will be under the control of the
Fire and Rescue Service.
Where suitable evacuation lifts are provided, disabled people should make
their way to the lift point and use the communication system to contact the
lift operator and make them aware of which floor they are waiting on. In
addition, there will also be a refuge call point (adjacent to the evacuation lift)
whereby the disabled person can contact the control room in order to tell
control which refuge they are in.
31
Fire-fighting lifts may be used in the early stage of the evacuation process
in agreement with the local Fire and Rescue Service.
In buildings where horizontal escape is used prior to exit in an ordinary lift,
the instructions for horizontal escape should be followed first.
2. Meet assistance at a refuge
Some disabled people will require assisted escape. In these cases it will
be necessary to have a pre-arranged meeting place. If the disabled person
is likely to move around the building, a means of communication will be
necessary between the escape volunteer and the disabled person. They
can then arrange to meet at a particular refuge point during the escape.
People should never be left in a refuge point to wait for the Fire and Rescue
Service. The refuge can be used as a safe resting place as well as a place to
wait in a phased evacuation while the go-ahead for a full escape is established.
A refuge may be equipped with a suitable means of communication.
Most refuges can accommodate only one wheelchair. This should not be a
problem where there is more than one wheelchair user, provided that there
is a suitable evacuation strategy in place. As one person progresses on their
journey, the next person will take their place in the refuge. Fire compartmentation
is also a form of refuge. The refuge may play a part in the disabled person’s
escape journey.
3. Meet assistance at a workstation
Some people will need to meet their assistant(s) at their own workstation. In
this instance the allocated escape volunteer(s) should go straight to the disabled
person’s workstation at the beginning of the evacuation procedure. The
assistant(s) could be someone who works alongside the disabled person
(buddy system), therefore they can set off on their escape journey together.
4. Make own way down stairs slowly
Some people who use wheelchairs may be able to make their own way
down the stairs if they have a little mobility. It may be necessary to ensure
that there are suitable handrails and step edge markings present. The
preferred solution is where the escape plan enables disabled people to leave
the building by their own efforts. This reduces the chance of confusion and
the chance of the plan breaking down. In these instances the person may
rest along the way in refuges.
Disabled people who choose this independent method of escape are likely
to move slowly down the stairs and it may be better for them to wait for the
main flow of people to leave the building. Escape stairs that are incorporated
in a fire-resistant shaft should be safe for up to 30 minutes. This greatly
enhances the escape time, especially when fire alarm systems incorporate
32
Where this escape method is chosen, it is important that it becomes part of
the PEEP and is recorded and monitored should there be a problem during
the escape. The fire warden should report to the control room or the person
in charge of the evacuation process that a disabled person is slowly making
their way out of the building. This information must be passed on to the Fire
and Rescue Service on their arrival at the incident.
5. Move down stairs on bottom after main flow
While some people will prefer to take responsibility for their own escape
by walking down the stairs, others may prefer to make their own way out
by shuffling down the stairs on their bottom. Again, it will be best for this
group of people to wait until after the main flow of people has evacuated.
Wherever possible, they should be monitored to ensure that there is no
problem with their progress. The fire warden should then report to the
control room or the person in charge of the evacuation process. This
information must be passed on to the Fire and Rescue Service on their
arrival at the incident.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
advanced fire detection measures. This reinforces the importance of building
occupiers keeping self-closing fire doors shut and observing good
housekeeping practices when occupying buildings.
6. Evacuation chairs
Where this is the preferred method of escape, the responsible person will
provide an evacuation chair. It will be allocated to a particular person and
either kept alongside their desk or in the most suitable refuge close to them.
In the case of a visitor who requests this method of escape, the person
who is responsible for booking them into the building should contact the
appropriate responsible person to arrange for one to be brought to the most
suitable part of the building for the duration of their stay. It should then be
returned to the central storage point.
In buildings with an uncontrolled and unknown population, it may be
advisable to provide evacuation chairs at suitable points within the building.
One on each staircase at each level may be an expensive option. Provision
of evacuation chairs on the top floor of the building, with a communication
system that allows them to be brought immediately to any refuge, may be
an acceptable solution, depending on the fire safety measures in place and
individual circumstances.
Provision of evacuation chairs should always be accompanied by a full
system of escape for disabled people as they are only a part of the solution.
Regular training of staff in the use of evacuation chairs is essential.
33
7–9. Carry-down
There are a number of types of carry-down techniques using two, three or
four people. Where a disabled person wishes to be carried out either using
their own wheelchair or by another method, a manual handling risk assessment
should be carried out and a suitable team should be assembled and trained
to take them out safely.
There are a number of pieces of equipment available to help with this
evacuation technique. The appointed people require regular training to use
any equipment safely. When carry-down is the preferred method, specialist
moving and handling training should also be provided.
10. Move down stairs in own chair with support
Some wheelchair users are strong and skilled enough to tip their chair
on its axis and travel down the stairs in this way. Others can do this with
assistance. Where this method of escape is considered, expert training will
be required and the technique should be practised regularly. Again, the
escape should take place after the main flow of people leaves the building.
It is only acceptable for short flights of stairs.
11. Cannot transfer readily
Some people will find it difficult or impossible to transfer from their chairs
to an evacuation chair or other evacuation aid. These people may require
a hoist to assist with this movement. The process can be quite difficult and
suitable training is required. It may be appropriate, wherever possible, for a
disabled person’s workstation or a point of service used by disabled people
to be located in a place where better evacuation plans can be made. In
these cases, a risk assessment of the use of lifts within the building for
evacuation purposes may find that this solution presents less of a risk.
Service providers could ensure that meeting or hotel rooms with easier
evacuation routes are priority booked for disabled people who require a high
level of assistance.
12. Move down stairs using handrails
Some people will be able to make their own escape but will require a
handrail to support them to get out of the building. This will be to either the
right or left of the stairs. Some will not be able to use the right and others
the left. Once you have established that they require a handrail, check each
staircase in the building proposed for their use to ensure that a suitable
handrail is provided. Where one is not available then assistance may be
required. Provision of handrails may be considered a reasonable adjustment.
34
Some people will require a buddy to assist them out of the building. Some
will be happy to organise this themselves on a casual basis. If this is the
case, a check should be made to ensure that the disabled person will
always be in a group of their peers or regular staff who are able to provide
this. If not, then it may be necessary to establish a formal procedure for
times when they are likely to be alone. In these cases, it may be suitable
for them to use the standard procedures set up in that building for visitors.
15. Orientation information
Where a person requires additional orientation information, it may be
sufficient to give them a guided tour of the escape routes from the rooms
they use. There are a number of disabilities where additional orientation
information is required. Good orientation systems benefit all of them and
could include colour coding, signage and defined routes (as explained in
16–18). People with cognitive impairments can benefit from a photographic
record of the route.
16. Tactile maps of the building
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
13–14. Assistance from one to two people
Some people will need additional guidance information in the form of tactile
maps. These can be obtained through a number of organisations that
provide accessible information services. You should ensure that you have
this information in advance.
17. Colour contrasting on stairways
To assist their orientation needs, some people will require an orientation
strategy to assist way-finding within the building. This can be achieved
through colour coding or contrasting the escape routes. An alternative for
smaller organisations might be to provide laminated paper signs with red
triangles and yellow squares printed on them; these are used to identify
the escape routes and supplement the regulated escape signs.
18. Step edge markings
Some people will be more confident about making their own way out of the
building if there is sufficient contrast on the nosings on the stairs. If a person
requests this option, the stairs should be checked to see if the step edges
are highlighted. If they are not, the person may require a buddy to help them
out of the building. It may also be appropriate to allocate a working area
close to where there are suitable step edge markings. It would be advisable
to provide contrasting nosing on all stairs in order to reduce the need
for assistance.
35
19. Need to be shown the escape routes
Some people will only need the escape routes pointing out to them and this
will be sufficient.
20. Assistance for the person and their dog
Where a person uses a guide dog, they may prefer the dog to assist
them out of the building. The escape routes should be pointed out to them.
Others will prefer to take the responsibility away from the dog for means of
escape and request a human assistant. In these cases, a buddy should be
allocated to the person. It may also be necessary to provide a person to look
after the dog. Again, this may be provided in an informal or formal manner.
21. Need doors to be opened
Some people may have difficulty negotiating self-closing fire-resisting doors.
It should be ensured, therefore, that all such doors and their self-closing
devices (including those that are normally held open by electromagnets
linked to the fire alarm system) comply with the recommendations of the
appropriate British Standard regarding opening and closing forces.
However, some people may still require assistance to open the doors, for
example those with upper limb impairments. Again, this can be a formal or
informal arrangement. Where a person may be alone in a building that has
doors that may be difficult for them to open, it may be necessary to provide
a more formal level of assistance.
Managers should ensure that a fire door self-closing device is not set at
too strong a pressure and they may need to adjust it, but it must also be
remembered that such doors are designed to hold back smoke and fire
to protect all the people in a building and facilitate their escape.
22. Large print information
Some people will need fire evacuation information provided in large print.
This can be obtained through a number of organisations that provide
accessible information services. Alternatively, it is possible to produce large
print information in-house. Ask the person what size of print is suitable for
them. You should ensure that you have this information in advance.
23. Identification of escape routes by reception or security
Visitors to the building may need reception or security staff to show them
the escape routes when they arrive at the building. This task should be
allocated to the most suitable person for each building or department.
36
Hearing impaired or deaf people need to be made aware that an evacuation
is taking place. Where they are likely to be alone in the building, they may
need to be provided with a flashing beacon or other similar device. If this
type of system is required, check with the appropriate person to see if there
is one available within the building. Where there is not, then a suitable buddy
system will be required. Flashing beacons may not be appropriate in all
buildings, for instance where other lighting conflicts with the beacons.
25. Buddy system
A buddy system may be the most suitable method for alerting a hearing
impaired or deaf person to the operation of the fire alarm. This should not
be done on an informal basis in case everyone assumes that someone else
has given the warning.
26. Vibrating pagers
Vibrating pagers can alert hearing impaired and deaf people that there is
an emergency and they need to leave the building. They can also be used
to communicate with other people who are part of the assisted escape
system. The pagers can be used to inform people that there is a need to
escape and also to tell them which direction they should travel in.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
24. Flashing beacons
27. Alternative alarm systems
There are other methods of contacting disabled people; these can be either
through the telephone system or through the intranet. It is recommended
that where a person cannot use the existing system or needs support to
use it, all other communication options are explored.
28. Additional checks by fire wardens
In order to provide back-up wherever there is an assisted escape system in
place, it is also necessary for the fire wardens or fire marshals in the building
to be aware of who is present and what escape plans are in place. They
should then be trained to provide suitable assistance where necessary.
29. Horizontal evacuation
In some buildings, it is possible to evacuate people horizontally through the
building into another fire compartment and away from the emergency situation.
When the alarm goes off, people who cannot use stairs are directed to
move along the floor level they are on to another fire compartment.
37
Information about where to go is required in order for this system to work.
Where horizontal evacuation is not immediately available on the affected
floor, it may be available on a lower floor. This may be more acceptable than
travelling all the way to the ground floor. The opportunity to do this should
be identified as part of the building fire safety risk assessment and then
offered during the interview.
30. Taped information
Where a person cannot read the fire drill instructions, they may benefit from
their provision in tape format. This should be produced in Plain English and
in other languages where appropriate.
38
Appendix 1 – The matrix
1
Use of lift
2
Meet
assistance
at refuge
3
Electric Wheel- Mobility Asthma
Visually Hearing Dyslexic/ Learning Mental
Dexterity
Wheel- chair impaired & other
impaired impaired orientation difficulty/ Health
problems
chair
user person breathing/ person
person disorders autism
problems
user
health
issues
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
Meet
assistance
at workstation
l
l
l
l
l
Make own
way down
stairs
slowly
l
l
l
l
l
Move down
stairs on
bottom after
main flow
l
l
l
l
Use
evacuation
chair or
similar
l
l
l
l
7
Carry-down
2 people
l
l
l
l
8
Carry-down
3 people
l
l
l
l
9
Carry-down
4 people
l
l
l
l
10
Travel down
in own chair
with support
4
5
6
11
12
13
14
15
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
Cannot
transfer
readily
l
l
Can get
down
stairs using
handrails
l
l
l
l
l
l
Needs
assistance
to walk
down stairs
1 person
l
l
l
l
l
l
Needs
assistance
to walk
down stairs
2 people
l
l
l
l
l
l
Need
orientation
information
l
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Option Type of
escape
l
l
l
l
l
39
Option Type of
escape
16
17
18
19
20
Needs
tactile map
of building
l
Need colour
contrasting
on stairways
l
Needs
step edge
markings
l
Needs
showing
escape
routes
l
Needs
assistance
for person
and dog
l
l
l
l
l
l
22
Large print
information
l
23
Identification
of escape
route by
reception/
security
l
Provisions
of flashing
beacons
26
Provision
of vibrating
pagers
l
l
l
Provision of
alternative
alarm
l
l
l
l
30
Need for
taped
information
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
Additional
checks by
fire wardens
Horizontal
evacuation
l
l
Buddy
system
29
l
l
25
28
l
l
Needs doors
opening
27
l
l
21
24
40
Electric Wheel- Mobility Asthma
Visually Hearing Dyslexic/ Learning Mental
Dexterity
Wheel- chair impaired & other
impaired impaired orientation difficulty/ Health
problems
user person breathing/ person
person disorders autism
problems
chair
user
health
issues
l
l
Dear
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (questionnaire)
We are currently reviewing and improving our emergency evacuation
procedures and we want to ensure that all of our staff are able to leave the
building safely in the event of a fire or other emergency. We understand that
many disabled people will be able to leave the building unaided; however,
some may require assistance. Therefore, we are writing to you to ask you
whether you would like us to draw up a Personal Emergency Evacuation
Plan (PEEP) with you in order to ensure that you can leave the building
safely in the event of an emergency.
The plan will explain what options you wish to take in the event of a fire
evacuation. The plan will also state who is designated to assist you in your
escape should you require this. The human resources department or other
manager, in full consultation with you, will draw up your PEEP. These people
will have been trained on disability equality issues and will work with you to
find the best solution.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Appendix 2 – Pro-forma letter
We are including a questionnaire for you to fill in to help you assess your
own need for a plan. Please return the questionnaire as soon as possible/by
................... If you do require a plan, we will arrange a meeting with you to
discuss it. If necessary, we will appoint people to help you. You will receive
a copy of your plan, which will also be given to those people who are part
of your escape plan. The fire incident controller (or other) will also receive a
copy and will pass it on to the Fire Service if necessary. If you do not request
a plan, we will accept that you are able to make your own way out unaided.
This does not affect your right to employment. As your employer we have a
duty to provide you with a suitable escape plan regardless of your disability.
We will not expect you to make any extraordinary effort to escape at any
other time.
If you have a temporary condition that may impede your evacuation, such
as pregnancy, please inform us if you feel you need assistance. If your
disability does not normally affect your work but might be a problem in
an escape situation, please inform us so that we can arrange suitable
assistance. This will not affect your right to employment.
Thank you for taking the time to fill in the questionnaire, which will enable us
to bring about any necessary changes.
Yours sincerely
41
Appendix 3 – New starter
evacuation questionnaire
Have you read and understood the evacuation procedure for the building in
which you work?
Yes
No
Do you require the procedure in large print or in another alternative format?
Yes
No
If yes, please state which: ___________________________________________
Do you have any special evacuation requirements?
Yes
No
We operate an evacuation system that includes Personal Emergency
Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for disabled staff. If you have answered
yes to the above question, you will shortly receive a questionnaire.
Please fill it in as quickly as possible and return it
to ________________________________________________________________
If you have any questions, please speak to _____________________________
Thank you
42
Name
Department
Evacuation plan
Mike Smith
Engineering
Plan 15
Jake Long
Maths
Plan 5
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Appendix 4 – Personnel
record sheet
43
Appendix 5 – PEEP option 1
Part 1 __________________________________________________________________________________________
Name:
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Location: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Alternative working positions (if appropriate): __________________________________
Location: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Indicate the number of separate plans that have been provided for each
building and room visited.
Building name
Room numbers
Part 2: Awareness of procedure
I have received the evacuation procedure in the following format:
• Braille
• Electronic format
• Tape
• Large print
• It has been explained in BSL
• I have been shown the evacuation routes
• I have my own authorised plan
Alarm system
• I am informed of the emergency by:
• The existing alarm system
• Pager device
• Visual alarm system
• Members of my work team
(each of these people require a copy of this sheet)
• The fire wardens on my floor (the fire wardens require a copy of this sheet)
44
Part 3: Getting out
I require
____
people to assist me.
Names: _________________________________________________________________________________________
Back-up: _______________________________________________________________________________________
Each of these people require a copy of this sheet.
The following is a record of my escape plan:
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Names: _________________________________________________________________________________________
Each of these people require a copy of this sheet.
My specialist equipment to assist my escape is:
My practice diary is:
Year 1
Jan
Feb
Mar
MOE Carry- Mocktraining down up
training
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
MOE Carry- Mocktraining down up
training
Year 2
Jan
MOE
training
Date: ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Example of evacuation procedure
This is a step-by-step account of what will happen during the escape.
John and Gale will meet me at my desk.
Reserve volunteers are Maria and Mike
They will help me by taking hold of one arm each side.
We will walk to the nearest escape route and wait in the space at the head
of the stairs for other people to escape.
When it is safe to do so, we will move slowly down the stairs.
The fire warden will advise the Fire and Rescue Service which route we took.
45
Appendix 6 – PEEP option 2
(simple record sheet more
relevant for standard plans)
Option 15
Requirement
My sight is limited and orientation is difficult where there is no formal
guidance.
Escape procedure
The person you are visiting will take you to the refuge, which is within
the evacuation stairway at each level of the building.
Please ring for assistance from the call point situated within the refuge.
A member of our fire evacuation team will meet you there and guide
you out of the building.
A more suitable variation on this is where all staff are trained to assist
visually impaired people out of the building.
Specialist equipment to assist the escape is:
Fire warden checks
Communication point
46
Requirement
I can walk on the flat but cannot manage stairs at all. I would need to
be carried down the stairs.
Escape procedure
Please make your way to the refuge, which is within the evacuation
stairway at each level of the building. Please ring for assistance from
the call point situated within the refuge.
Our staff are trained to carry-down with the use of an evacuation chair
and two staff.
A team will meet you in the refuge. You will need to sit on the chair,
which has armrests to help support you. The two staff members will
then carry you down.
Specialist equipment to assist the escape is:
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Option 8 – Carry-down by two staff
Evacuation chair
47
Appendix 7 – Reception sign
Option 1 – Standard PEEPs in place
Option 1 – Standard PEEPs in place
We operate a system of assisted escape for disabled visitors.
Please tell our receptionist your requirements.
We will provide you with a suitable escape plan.
Option 2 – Disabled people’s evacuation strategy in place
Option 2 – Disabled people’s evacuation strategy in place
We operate a system of assisted escape for disabled visitors.
Please tell our receptionist your requirements.
We will explain our escape procedures to you.
48
Term
Definition
British Sign Language (BSL)
Form of sign language developed in the United Kingdom
for the use of the deaf. Indigenous language.
BS 8300
British Standard 8300: 2001 on Design of buildings and
their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.
Code of practice.
Competent person
A person with enough training and experience or
knowledge and other qualities to enable them to
properly assist in undertaking the preventive and
protective measures.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Legislation passed in 1995 to address discrimation
against disabled people
Disability Equality Duty
The Disability Equality Duty came into force on 4
December 2006. This legal duty requires all public
bodies to actively look at ways of ensuring that disabled
people are treated equally.
Matrix
Table or grid (in Appendix 1, used to assist in
ascertaining appropriate means of escape)
Personal Emergency
Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
Individual plan for means of escape from fire.
Plain English
Writing that the intended audience can read, understand
and act upon the first time they read it.
Regulatory Reform Order
(Fire Safety) 2005 (RRO)
Legislation on fire safety for non-domestic premises.
Responsible person
The person ultimately responsible for fire safety as
defined in the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety)
2005.
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Glossary
49
A
autism 28, 40–1
B
Braille 29, 45
British Sign Language (BSL) 25, 45
BS 8300 19
buddy system 10, 24, 33, 36, 38, 41
budgets 15
buildings
adaptations 7, 16, 28
multi-occupancy buildings 5, 8
small buildings 9
technical building information 13,
16, 25
C
carry-down 21–2, 35, 40, 48
training 15, 18
children 12
co-operation 5, 8, 19
cognitive disabilities
interviewing 29–30
orientation information 29, 36, 41
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
28–9
communication
communication systems 32, 33, 34, 47
consultation 10, 16
importance of 6
making contact and defining roles
11–12, 17
process of 12–15
residents 14
staff 11, 13, 14
technical building information 13, 16,
25
training plan 15
visitors 13, 17
competent persons
contractors 11
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
13, 16, 18
construction, fire-resisting 17, 21, 33
contractors 10, 11
customers 10, 31
D
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)
5, 6, 19
Disability Equality Duty (DED) 7
disability escape etiquette 8, 11, 15, 17, 20
dogs 37, 41
doors
need to open 6, 8, 37, 41
self-closing 34, 37
dyslexia 28, 40, 41
E
electrically powered wheelchairs 22, 23–4,
40–1
epilepsy 30, 31
escape routes
colour contrasting 26–7, 29, 36, 41
escape time 16, 17, 20, 29, 33, 40
identification of 37, 41
lifts 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 32–3, 35, 40
obstructions 7–8, 16
signs 26, 27, 32, 36, 49
travel distance 23
visually impaired people 27–8, 31
evacuation chairs 7, 15, 21–2, 23, 24, 34,
35, 40, 48
evacuation plans
budgets 15
co-ordinating 5, 10, 13
communicating 10–15
consultation 16
horizontal evacuation 13, 20, 21, 38–9,
41
matrix 8, 16, 31, 32–9, 40–1
phased evacuation 33
suitability 6
training 7, 8–9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 31,
34–5
see also Personal Emergency
Evacuation Plans
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
Index
F
false alarms 6
fire alarms 7, 9, 21
alternative systems 38, 41
flashing beacons 24, 25, 38, 41
pagers 18, 24, 25, 26, 38, 41, 45
public address (PA) systems 24, 32
textphone 24, 26
two-stage 32
Fire and Rescue Service
information to 34, 46
lifts 21, 32–3
role 5
fire compartments 9, 17, 20, 21, 23, 33, 38
fire drills 6, 17, 39
51
fire safety risk assessment
legal requirement for 5
lifts 35
technical building information 13, 16
training 8
fire safety strategy 12, 13
fire wardens 24, 25, 30, 34, 38, 41, 45,
46, 47
firefighting lifts 21, 33
functions and conferences 14
H
handrails 16, 20, 22, 23, 26–7, 28, 30, 33,
35–6, 40
hearing impaired and deaf people
fire alarms 18, 24, 25, 26, 38, 41, 45
information required 24, 25, 41
interviewing 25–6
lone working 26, 38
staff training 25, 26
horizontal evacuation 13, 20, 21, 38–9, 41
human resources department 7, 11, 13, 42
I
information
Braille 29, 45
disabled people's need for 8, 10, 17, 20
fire instructions 25, 27, 28, 29
hearing impaired and deaf people 24,
25, 41
large print information 27, 37, 41, 43, 45
orientation information 26–7, 28, 29,
36, 41
Plain English 25, 39
tactile maps 27, 36, 41
taped information 27, 39, 41, 45
technical building information 13, 16, 25
see also communication
L
large print information 27, 37, 41, 43, 45
learning difficulty 18, 40–1
legal requirements 5, 19
lifts
escape routes 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 32–3,
35, 40
firefighting lifts 21, 33
M
management practice 5–6, 11
manual handling 15, 17, 35
matrix, escape planning 8, 16, 31, 32–9,
40–1
meetings 8, 14, 35
mental health problems 40, 41
mobility impaired people 20–1, 22–3,
33–4, 38–9, 40–1
52
multi-occupancy buildings 5, 8
P
pagers 18, 24, 25, 26, 38, 41, 45
parking 6
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
(PEEPs)
assisted/facilitated escape options 32,
33, 36, 40
cognitive disabilities 28–9
individual plans 7, 16, 31, 45–6
interviews 16–17, 22–3, 25–6, 28, 29–30
mobility impaired people 20–1, 33–4,
38–9, 40–1
negotiating adjustments to 19–20
occasional visitors 7–8, 11, 12
practicing 17, 18, 19, 21–2, 29, 46
Pro-forma letter 42
questionnaire 43
regular visitors 7
residents 11–12, 14
staff 7, 13, 20, 42–3, 45–8
standard plans 7–8, 9, 12, 16, 31, 36, 47
unknown requirements 30
visually impaired people 8, 16, 27, 47
wheelchair users 21, 35
phased evacuation 33
place of ultimate safety 7, 20
Plain English 25, 39
porters 14
public address (PA) systems 24, 32
R
reasonable adjustments 19–20, 26, 35
reception areas 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 37, 41, 49
refuges 16, 32, 33, 40
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
5, 19
residents 11–12, 14
responsible persons
co-ordination 13, 18
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
11, 16–17
S
security staff 14, 26, 37, 41
signs 8, 14, 25, 26, 27, 32, 36, 49
small buildings 9
staff
communication 11, 13, 14
deaf awareness training 25, 26
disability escape etiquette 8, 11, 15, 17
interviewing 16–17
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans 7,
13, 20, 42–3, 45–8
Personnel record sheet 44
Pro-forma letter 42
T
tactile maps 27, 36, 41
taped information 27, 39, 41, 45
textphone 24, 26
training
deaf awareness 25, 26
disability escape etiquette 8, 11, 15, 17
evacuation 7, 8–9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19,
31, 34–5
training plan 15, 46
Fire risk assessment supplementary guide
questionnaire 43
recruiting 14, 17
responsibilities 11, 12, 17, 19, 23, 27
training 7, 8–9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 31,
34–5
stairways
colour contrasting 36, 41
handrails 16, 23, 26–7, 28, 30, 33,
35–6, 40
mobility impaired people 33–4, 40, 41
step edge markings 16, 20, 28, 30, 31,
33, 36, 41
suitability 16, 23, 24
see also carry-down
students 11–12
U
unnecessary escapes 6
V
visitors 31
casual 12
communicating with 13, 17
groups 12, 23–4, 36
individual 12
occasional 7–8, 11, 12
regular 7
residents 11–12, 14
unknown or uncontrolled 8–9, 17, 34
visually impaired people
escape routes 27–8, 31
fire instructions 27, 37, 41, 43, 45
interviewing 28
orientation information 26–7, 28, 41
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans 8,
16, 27, 47
volunteers 11, 14, 17, 46
W
wheelchair users
electrically powered wheelchairs 22,
23–4, 40–1
evacuating 9, 21–2, 23–4, 33, 35, 40–1
interviewing 22–3
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
21, 35
transferring 21, 35, 40
53
This guide is a supplement to be read alongside other guides in
this series. It provides additional information on accessibility and
means of escape.
Supplementary guide
endorsed by the
Disability
Rights
Commission
Other guides in the series:
Guide
Main use
Offices and shops
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 815 0
Factories and warehouses
Offices and retail premises (including individual units within larger premises,
e.g. shopping centres).
Factories and warehouse storage premises.
Sleeping accommodation
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 817 4
Residential care premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 818 1
Educational premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 819 8
Small and medium places
of assembly
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 820 4
Large places of assembly
All premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation, e.g. hotels,
guest houses, B&Bs, hostels, residential training centres, holiday accommodation
and the common areas of flats, maisonettes, HMOs and sheltered housing (other
than those providing care – see Residential care premises), but excluding hospitals,
residential care premises, places of custody and single private dwellings.
Residential care and nursing homes, common areas of sheltered housing
(where care is provided) and similar premises, which are permanently staffed
and where the primary use is the provision of care rather than healthcare (see
Healthcare premises).
Teaching establishments ranging from pre-school through to universities, except
the residential parts (see Sleeping accommodation).
Smaller public houses, clubs, restaurants and cafés, village halls, community
centres, libraries, marquees, churches and other places of worship or study
accommodating up to 300 people.
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 821 1
Larger premises where more than 300 people could gather, e.g. shopping centres
(not the individual shops), large nightclubs and pubs, exhibition and conference
centres, sports stadia, marquees, museums, libraries, churches, cathedrals and
other places of worship or study.
Theatres, cinemas and
similar premises
Theatres, cinemas, concert halls and similar premises used primarily for
this purpose.
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 822 8
Open air events and venues
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 823 5
Healthcare premises
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 824 2
Transport premises
and facilities
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 825 9
Open air events, e.g. theme parks, zoos, music concerts, sporting events
(not stadia – see Large places of assembly), fairgrounds and county fairs.
Premises where the primary use is the provision of healthcare (including private),
e.g. hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dentists and other similar healthcare premises.
Transportation terminals and interchanges, e.g. airports, railway stations
(including sub-surface), transport tunnels, ports, bus and coach stations
and similar premises but excluding the means of transport (e.g. trains, buses,
planes and ships).
endorsed by the
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 873 7
Price: £5.00
Disability
Rights
Commission
Means of Escape for Disabled People
ISBN-13: 978 1 85112 816 7
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